Last night I escaped to my garden for a few minutes right before starting the kids’ bedtime routine. The sun was going down, the air was cool, and as soon as I reached for a tomato off my plants the anxiousness of our Days slipped away from me.
As I continued picking my Sun Golds and pruning branches and weeding weeds, I fell into a familiar rhythm of movement and thought – the same rhythm I get into when running or cleaning or cooking – my hands are busy so my mind can process.
It was a peaceful few moments that recharged me.
What I found myself processing through was how my gardens – both the vegetable and flower – were sorely neglected this summer. The water pressure issues with the automatic drip system and technical difficulties with the spigot didn’t help, but I was not as consistent in my love or care for the normally full and lush edgings around my yard.
Gardening had turned into a chore instead of a hobby this summer.
I took on some consulting work recently, which is a radical shift in how I spend my time. A few hours here and there spent on the computer or in a meeting displaces something else, though there were enough inefficiencies in my time management skilz to absorb a lot of this. But still, grocery shopping has been haphazard, meals thrown together, and I feel a general sense of disorientation with my schedule.
I know this will improve as I get into the rhythm of my days, and I realize August probably wasn’t the best time to take on new projects, but in the meantime I feel a little frazzled.
But as I tended to my sad little garden I felt the universe plop back into order. I remembered I’m slow to transition the Big Things in life – more like a semi-truck lumbering to a halt than a sports car screeching to a quick stop – and I needed to give myself time to find my way. I remembered that letting some things go doesn’t mean I’ve failed, but I’ve made choices and rearrange priorities.
And most importantly, I remembered my Identity is not rooted in being a stay-at-home mom, or a work-at-home mom, or a consultant, or a wife, and that tweaking any of these things does not change who I am at my core.
The cartoon pictured above – which is printed on the back of my business cards – was drawn by Hugh at Gaping Void, and it’s the matrix by which I make all decisions concerning home and work. Every time I take on something new, I have to decide where it’s going to fit and what gets shifted to the back burner. If I start to feel frazzled, I know I’m trying to do it all.
So if you happen to catch me freaking out, my friend, feel free to ask if I’ve picked my sliver well.
2 thoughts on “Pick your sliver well, my friend.”
So that is why I’m having panic attacks? I thought maybe I just needed to take up drinking or pot smoking or some addictive yet highly enjoyable behavior. I love your writing. It always seems to come at the right time.
I’ll remember to ask about your sliver. Thank you (and your husband) for bearing with my own insanity right now. It is really encouraging. And I seem to need a lot of it. 🙂